Ronald Koeman has said Southampton must be prepared to see more stars leave the club in future transfer windows, but believes the board should not hesitate to break out the chequebook to sign big names as replacements. The statement comes against speculation linking Sadio Mane with a move to Manchester United in January.
Koeman has already been forced to cope with the losses of Nathaniel Clyne, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Luke Shaw and Morgan Schneiderlin to Liverpool and Manchester United in his time at St Mary's. Mane and Victor Wanyama have been tipped to follow in their footsteps, with the players being chased by Louis van Gaal's outfit and Tottenham Hotspur respectively.
Daily Mail recently claimed that United will renew their efforts to recruit Mane in the January window. Reports state that after having a £20m ($30m) offer rejected in the summer they will need to table a bid of closer to £40m to convince the Saints to let him go.
Koeman is resigned to the sale of more players if the big money keeps on coming in. He said in an interview with The Independent: "I am quiet, easy-going, because you have to know the situation of the club, you have to know the ambition of those kind of players.
"It is normal that there is interest. It is a compliment to everybody in the club. The scouting has to be prepared again when we lose players."
Even so, the Dutch manager hopes his club will take a different approach to recruitment in coming years, after a mercato in which they were the only Premier League side to make a profit.
Asked when this transfer policy would start to annoy him, he answered: "Maybe next year."
"Of course, we would like to keep the best players, because that means that we can grow and grow," he continued. "If not, we need to spend money, and we don't spend a lot of money. After the last transfer window, Southampton was the only team in the Premier League who got money out of the transfer window. Nobody else, nobody else.
"Everyone else spent more money than they got. I would like to change that but I am realistic. I know the situation of the club."